Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A prose or verse composition, especially one telling a serious story, that is intended for representation by actors impersonating the characters and performing the dialogue and action.
  • n. A serious narrative work or program for television, radio, or the cinema.
  • n. Theatrical plays of a particular kind or period: Elizabethan drama.
  • n. The art or practice of writing or producing dramatic works.
  • n. A situation or succession of events in real life having the dramatic progression or emotional effect characteristic of a play: the drama of the prisoner's escape and recapture.
  • n. The quality or condition of being dramatic: a summit meeting full of drama.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A composition, normally in prose, telling a story and intended to be represented by actors impersonating the characters and speaking the dialogue
  • n. Such a work for television, radio or the cinema (usually one that is not a comedy)
  • n. Theatrical plays in general
  • n. A dramatic situation in real life
  • n. Rumor, lying or exaggerated reaction to life events; melodrama; an angry dispute or scene; intrigue or spiteful interpersonal maneuvering.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A composition, in prose or poetry, accommodated to action, and intended to exhibit a picture of human life, or to depict a series of grave or humorous actions of more than ordinary interest, tending toward some striking result. It is commonly designed to be spoken and represented by actors on the stage.
  • n. A series of real events invested with a dramatic unity and interest.
  • n. Dramatic composition and the literature pertaining to or illustrating it; dramatic literature.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A story put into action, or a story of human life told by actual representation of persons by persons, with imitation of language, voice, gesture, dress, and accessories or surrounding conditions, the whole produced with reference to truth or probability, and with or without the aid of music, dancing, painting, and decoration; a play.
  • n. A composition in verse or prose, or in both, presenting in dialogue a course of human action, designed, or seemingly designed, to be spoken in character and represented on the stage; a form of imitated and represented action regulated by literary canons; the description of a story converted into the action of a play, and thereby constituting a department of literary art: as, the classic drama; the Hindu drama; the Elizabethan drama.
  • n. Dramatic representation with its adjuncts; theatrical entertainment: as, he has a strong taste for the drama.
  • n. Action, humanly considered; a course of connected acts, involving motive, procedure, and purpose, and by a related sequence of events or episodes leading up to a catastrophe or crowning issue.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a dramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage
  • n. an episode that is turbulent or highly emotional
  • n. the literary genre of works intended for the theater
  • n. the quality of being arresting or highly emotional

Etymologies

Late Latin drāma, drāmat-, from Greek, from drān, to do, perform.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek δρᾶμα (drama, "an act, a theatrical act, a play"), from δράω (drao, "to act, to take action, to achieve") (Wiktionary)

Examples

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